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Southwest Essay

2407 words - 10 pages

Southwest Airlines 1

Southwest Airlines:
What is Southwest Airlines Doing Right?


Southwest Airlines 2

Southwest Airlines:
What is Southwest Airlines Doing Right?
Time and time again Southwest Airlines has been recognized for its outstanding customer service, employee loyalty and unorthodox leadership methods. Southwest Airlines success can be attributed to the enforced morals and belief system of its leaders; they treat their customers fairly and their employees like family. There are numerous reasons why Southwest Airlines has been so successful; some of ...view middle of the document...

Today Southwest Airlines flies more than 65 million passengers a year to 59 cities all across the country and they do it more than 2,800 times a day ( In today’s volatile market many companies have not been able to keep their heads above water, Southwest is not one of those companies. Southwest Airlines was tested and proved its self right after the 9-11 attacks when it was still able to turn a profit while all the other airlines reported losses and began cutting costs by slashing payrolls. Through great leadership the company has planned for the future and taken the necessary risks when appropriate. For the eighth year in a row, Fortune magazine has recognized Southwest Airlines among the ten most admired corporations. In 2003, Southwest airlines was ranked 2nd in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to work for ( Southwest Airlines was also recognized by Chief Executive magazine as one of the “Top 20 Companies for Leaders” in 2002 and 2003 ( As you can see this company’s leaders must be doing something right. Ron Ricks, Southwest’s vice president of government affairs, often invokes a slogan Southwest people hold dear “It’s not a job, it’s a crusade”. Through this crusade the employees of Southwest Airlines and its management believe they are protecting the consumer, small businesses everywhere and their own families. There are numerous reasons why Southwest Airlines has been so successful; some of the most important being employee and customer satisfaction, keeping costs down and strong future initiatives. These key areas would not be what they are today without the strong leadership behind this great company. The top management has implemented so many standards that are out of the norm that the company is

Southwest Airlines 4
frequently getting national attention. Their off the wall tactics have been proven to work, this is obvious by numerous mentions and awards that Southwest Airlines has earned.
Southwest Airlines success can be attributed to the enforced morals and belief system of its leaders; they treat their customers fairly and their employees like family. This company does not believe in titles, they spend more time planning parties than writing policies, they avoid formal documented strategic planning and wearing pants to the office is optional. It is this carefree environment that makes employees want to come to work and that has made Southwest so successful.
Southwest Airlines receives a minimum of 100,000 job applicants per year and consistently has the lowest turnover rate of any airline. Today Southwest Airlines employs nearly 30,000 individuals, according to Ed Stweart, Director of Public Relations ( One of the biggest perk employees receive is free airfare for themselves and discounted rates for family members. Other perks employees receive are profit sharing, competitive salary...

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